Some tournaments, the last 5 days are a grind of rikishi low on stamina and just going through the motions, hoping to make it through each day. Aki 2021 seems to be a mad cap brawl if increasing intensity. Each day is a bit more energetic than the last, and the sumo just keeps getting better. I am not sure about you, dear readers, but it’s just the tonic I need this fall.
Wakamotoharu defeats Chiyomaru – First ever win for Wakamotoharu over Wakamotoharu. He correctly anticipated Chiyomaru’s pull and pushed forward, sending Chiyomaru over the bales in a hurry. Wakamotoharu improves his chances at a kachi-koshi by improving to 5-6.
Tochinoshin defeats Tokushoryu – Tochinoshin finalizes Tokushoryu’s make-koshi, stamping his boarding pass for the Juryo barge of the damned. Again today Tochinoshin could not land his left hand, but made do with his right. Once he had Tokushoryu moving, it was fairly easy to move him out, and hand him his 8th loss. Tochinoshin improves to 5-6.
Endo defeats Kaisei – Endo’s belt grab at the tachiai fell apart, and he released forward pressure and stepped to the side. Kaisei can do many things, but moving to the side is not really one of them. So Endo slipped to Kaisei’s left, reached in from behind and attacked. Endo picks up his 8th win, and is kachi-koshi.
Myogiryu defeats Ichiyamamoto – Myogiryu got the better of the tachiai, putting his hands inside and low while Ichiyamamoto went high. Ichiyamamoto quickly tried to pull Myogiryu down, further degrading his position, and Myogiryu powered ahead to drive him over the bales. Thats loss #8 for Ichiyamamoto, and he is make-koshi, while Myogiryu improves to 9-2, and remains one behind Terunofuji.
Chiyotairyu defeats Tsurugisho – How many days in a row are folks going to let Chiyotairyu execute this move? It’s simple, it’s effective, and some times it’s kind of unstoppable: a big hit at the tachiai and and immediate hikiotoshi. Chiyotairyu improves to 7-4.
Hidenoumi defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki attacks high, and does not maintain the gap to Hidenoumi, as Hidenoumi takes a half step back; just enough to take Kagayaki off balance, and then slaps him down. Hidenoumi seems to finally be into his sumo, and improves to 5-6.
Aoiyama defeats Chiyonoo – Sloppy set of combo attacks from Aoiyama got the job done, and Chiyonoo could do little other than try to hang on and survive. A big left hand push from a right hand inside position finished Chiyonoo and gave Aoiyama his 6th win, keeping hopes of kachi-koshi alive for him.
Chiyonokuni defeats Tobizaru – As expected, it was a wild match with a lot of agility and motion. Both brought out their attacks at the start, but Tobizaru quickly had to shift to defense. He was unable to stem the blistering volleys from Chiyonokuni, and an attempted escape move became a rout, with Chiyonokuni pushing him out for a seldom seen okuritaoshi. Chiyonokuni improves to 8-3 and has a well deserved kachi-koshi for Aki.
Okinoumi defeats Yutakayama – Yutakayama really wanted this win, he was fast off of the shikiri-sen, and attacked first. Okinoumi gave way and moved to go chest to chest, and soon had Yutakayama settled into a left hand inside position. With Yutakayama captured, Okinoumi worked to improve his grip, then move Yutakayama out for his 8th win, securing kachi-koshi, while Yutakayama gets a loss on his birthday.
Kotoeko defeats Shimanoumi – Its really nice to know the lizard men brought back the genki form of Kotoeko and took their non-sumo executing mandroid back to their secret base miles below Kagoshima. That’s now 3 in a row for Kotoeko, who improves to 5-6.
Chiyoshoma defeats Terutsuyoshi – What the hell, Chiyoshoma! Once he has a mighty make-koshi locked up, suddenly he remembers that he’s good at sumo, and starts winning matches. Maybe he just had to get that henka out of his system and now he’s well again. Hatakikomi mega-swat put Terutsuyoshi on the clay, after Terutsuyoshi really could not close in and produce any offense. Terutsuyoshi is make-koshi and both end the day at 3-8.
Tamawashi defeats Ura – Ura lost his grip as he began to execute a throw, and that turned out to be his best chance to pick up a win today. His second engagement plan fell apart when he lost traction and slipped a foot out early. Both end the day at 4-7.
Wakatakakage defeats Kiribayama – Kiribayama’s dreams of kachi-koshi and a san’yaku ranking in November took damage today when Wakatakakage took control of the center of the ring, putting Kiribayama on defense. With the two chest to chest, it was Wakatakakage who had the better hand placement. He took control, pushing a struggling Kiribayama high and then driving him out to improve to 5-6.
Takanosho defeats Hoshoryu – Takanosho connected hard, and early. With a big hit at the tachiai, he blasted Hoshoryu back on his heels, and followed up with a combo that sent Hoshoryu back, then another volley pushed him out. Zero chance for offense from Hoshoryu, and he picks up his 8th loss and is make-koshi. Takanosho improves to 6-5.
Ichinojo defeats Takarafuji – The two went chest to chest shortly after the tachiai. In a normal match this strongly favors Takarafuji. The different today is the massive size of Ichinojo presented a huge drain to Takarafuji’s stamina, and Ichinojo took the opportunity to stalemate Takarafuji at the center of the dohyo. Four times Takarafuji rallied and tried to move Ichinojo out, but was just too big to move that far, and each rally presented a bit less energy. All Ichinojo had to do was wait. Sensing that Takarafuji was spent, Ichinojo lifted Takarafuji and walked him out to improve to 5-6.
Mitakeumi defeats Daieisho – Daieisho opened strong with a fierce combo, getting Mitakeumi off balance. But the temptation to pull must have been overwhelming, and Daieisho could not resist. Mitakeumi charged into the pull, and ran Daieisho out of the ring at a gallop. That’s win number 8 for Mitakeumi, and he is kachi-koshi for September.
Takakeisho defeats Onosho – Grand Tadpole Takakeisho shows why he is king of this pond, putting junior croaker Onosho on the clay on the second exchange when (no surprise here) Onosho was too far forward over his toes. After a very worrisome start, Takakeisho has gone 5-0, and is one win away from clearing kadoban, improving to 7-4.
Shodai defeats Meisei – Meisei brought some good power to this match, and had Shodai on defense early. But the “Wall of Daikon” took over with a left hand outside grip, and the match evolved to see who could throw whom first. A whirling dance for position ended with a Shodai uwatenage that concluded with a brutal tea-bagging for maximum effect. Shodai is kachi-koshi and improves to 8-3.
Terunofuji defeats Takayasu – This match was a joy at first. Takayasu, whose sumo has been pretty rough this tournament, was sharp, effective and took the fight to the Yokozuna. Terunofuji, as we have seen all of September, took his time, and did not rush to find the win. He appeared content to take Takayasu apart a piece at a time. Takayasu was having none of it, and was likewise satisfied to shut down every advantage that Terunofuji came up, while biding his time and drawing on that enormous stamina of his to wait for his chance. Terunofuji executed a fast pivot, and although Takayasu maintained contact, something seems to have happened to Takayasu’s knee, and he could not maintain forward pressure. Terunofuji pressed forward and shoved Takayasu over the tawara and into Shodai to pick up his 10th win. Out came the big wheelchair, and it seems Takayasu is hurt.